A completed pole barn has plenty of room inside for everything – from cars to tools to a place to relax. But if you plan on using your pole barn after dark, you’ll want to consider adding some pole barn lighting to the interior (or exterior) to keep it functional when the sun has gone down. 

Read on to learn tips to help you get started when it comes to planning pole barn lighting for your new or existing barn. 

Do You Need Pole Barn Lighting? 

Every person uses their pole barn differently. Depending on what your goal is with your pole barn, you may or may not benefit from setting up an extensive pole barn lighting solution. Some pole barns are used primarily as storage, especially in agricultural purposes. Generally, these are only accessed during the day – making lighting unnecessary. 

However, pole barns are popular for several types of specific hobbies, businesses or personal uses. Everything from a workshop to a garage to equestrian barns will necessitate some type of lighting solution so you can use it whenever you please. 

Find the Right Type of Light 

The first step to good pole barn lighting is choosing the type of light you need. There are several things to consider when planning the type of light you’ll be using

Do You Need General Lighting? 

Most pole barn lighting jobs are designed to give clear lighting throughout the whole pole barn. For these purposes, you should plan for longer strips of shop lighting. These will give you consistent light across the whole interior without requiring an excessive number of individual fixtures. 

Do You Need Focused Lighting? 

If you’re working on projects in a pole barn garage, woodshop or similar structure, you may need lighting that’s more functional than general lighting. For these purposes, you’ll want to look at options to supplement your main shop lighting with adjustable lights or even basic lamps that can be accessed from the ground level. 

Do You Need Exterior Lighting? 

The lights you’ll use for the exterior of your pole barn are certainly going to be different than the ones you’d use inside. Fortunately, flood lighting options are available in a wide variety of shapes and functions.  

One popular type of exterior pole barn lighting option are motion-activated flood lights. These give you plenty of light around your pole barn and make sure you can see any time you need to approach the barn after dark. If you live on a farmstead or large property with a lot of active livestock or wildlife around, these may not be the best option – as they can be triggered constantly. 

How Many Lumens Do You Need? 

A good rule of thumb when installing lighting for any interior space is to plan for about 100-200 lumens per square foot. Modern LED lights can pack a lot of lumens in a small package, offering you the best volume of light for the size and efficiency. Anything less than this might leave areas of your pole barn dimly lit. 

Try not to overdo it on your first pass. If you aren’t sure how much lighting you need, it’s much easier to add supplemental lighting than replacing overbearing lights that are too much for your space. 

Think About Lighting Before the Build 

One of the most important tips for pole barn lighting is to consider what you may need well before the building stage. Wiring a pole barn isn’t too difficult, but if have an idea of what type of electrical wiring you’ll need before you build, you can save a lot of headaches when it comes time to running the wiring or hiring a contractor. 

It’s also important to remember that adding electricity to your pole barn opens the doors to a variety of building codes based on your locality. Make sure you follow these codes – it’s not just about being compliant, it’s generally a matter of safety and liability! 

Using the Interior Wood for Mounting 

When it comes time to hang the lighting in your pole barn, you’ll find the process to be quite easy. The interior is full of sturdy wood girts, beams and trusses to mount your lighting wherever you need. 

How you mount them is both up to you and your local codes. Some municipalities require direct mounting, whereas others will allow you to use easier solutions like hanging lights from chains which may make them easier to maintain. 

Whenever you attach anything to structural components of your pole barn, it’s important to pay attention to the weight. Modern LED lights are generally lightweight, but the housing metal for sizable shop lights can be surprisingly heavy. You don’t want to compromise the safety of your pole barn by attaching too much weight in one area – especially when hanging directly overhead! 

Find Your Perfect Pole Barn Today – Get an Instant Quote Online! 

Do you have questions about pole barns? Call our knowledgeable staff at (937) 547-9100. If you’re ready to build your pole barn, lock in a quote with DIY Pole Barns using our Instant Quote tool! 

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